There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.
– Hodding Carter, Jr., journalist
Roots & Wings
Welcome! I'm so glad you're here. I would be delighted to be of service in your family history pursuits. Please read on to see what we might discover together! -Kristin
Martin C. and Katie (Nagle) Hornberger with their four oldest children in 1910. The youngest child sitting on his mother's lap is my Great Grandpa Albert. Discovering this family's tragic story has been immensely meaningful for me. After connecting with a fourth cousin who had this photo in his possession, I was able to show my 85-year-old grandpa the only picture he had ever seen of his grandmother. I'd be honored to help you pursue YOUR family history.
Services provided by Roots & Wings Research:
Building upon my education degree and years of experience in teaching, I offer engaging and interactive classes that use high-interest case studies to demonstrate research tools and methods. My background in theater allows me to present with passionate enthusiasm and lots of visuals. I always include handouts with practical resources and action points that students can immediately begin applying to their own research.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Discover Your Family’s Stories in Historic Newspapers (intermediate)
Location, Location, Location! Using Maps, Deeds, and Other Land Records to Place Your Family in History (intermediate/advanced)
Genealogy for Beginners: First Steps to Your Family History (beginner)
Two brief samples from "Location, Location, Location!"
Research and Writing:
One-on-one coaching and consultation to create a research plan for your next steps
In-depth research on one individual or family, including evidence analysis and report writing adhering to the GPS (genealogical proof standard)
Original document retrieval and transcription in Lancaster County, PA and surrounding counties (York, Lebanon, Berks)
Interview and writing to preserve the memories and legacy of an elderly family member
For those who wish to visit Lancaster County, research of your ancestors and creation of a custom itinerary to homesteads, churches, schools, cemeteries, and other points of interest
Every project is unique! Please contact me for a free consultation to discuss your ideas.
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
My maternal grandfather, John C. Groenendaal, with his parents Peter and Alma (Burnum) Groenendaal circa 1914. Peter made many trips between his birthplace in the Netherlands and the U.S., giving me experience with ship and immigration records. I also discovered that, contrary to family legend, he was not an only child. After I traced the descendants of his sister who had stayed in the Netherlands, my mother recently was able to communicate with and visit her Dutch second cousins in Amsterdam!
I wish I had realized that family history is a perishable commodity. It disappears with time, as memories fade, and as loved ones pass on. I wish I had known that the most important aspect of family history is preserving a record of the present for the future.
– Guy Black
Kristin R. Wenger
My great -great grandmother, Mary (Gross) Millhouse raised fourteen children while farming in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
My maternal grandmother, Lucille (Norbeck) Groenendaal as a young woman in the city of Philadelphia circa 1934.
Roots & Wings Research, LLC was founded by Kristin Wenger, a professional genealogist and educator based in Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Roots & Wings, LLC creates opportunities for individuals to experience fulfillment and inspiration through learning how to discover, preserve, and share their family histories.
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, December 1998
Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania
Summa cum laude
Genealogical Research Certificate, December 2017
Boston University, Center for Professional Education
A rigorous, graduate level, semester-long program taught by some of the nation's leading professional genealogists.
Course: Women and Children First!: Research Methods for the Hidden Half of the Family, July 2018
Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
In-depth institute course coordinated by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL
Course: Advanced Genealogical Methods, January 2019
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG)
In-depth institute course coordinated by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG
ProGen 40, February 2019- March 2020
Study Group Co-Leader
Contractor with Ancestry ProGenealogists and record retrieval for Legacy Tree Genealogists.
Local research and reporting for major international genealogical research firms.
Eight years of genealogical research experience
Proficiency locating, evaluating, and analyzing both online and offline records
Training in genetic genealogy methods to incorporate DNA evidence
Experience correlating indirect and negative evidence to reach conclusions for difficult research questions
Twenty years of teaching experience and a teacher's heart for sharing knowledge, teaching skills, and inspiring students
Community Leadership and Involvement
(Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania)
Lititz Historical Foundation, in-house genealogist and tour guide
Lititz Public Library, Secretary of Board of Trustees
Lancaster Evangelical Free Church, kids' worship team director, Sunday School teacher, worship team vocalist
Warwick School District, past member of Education Committee of the School Board
Association of Professional Genealogists
National Genealogical Society
Are you ready to work together on your family's story?
My family and I collaborated to make this video highlighting one of Lancaster County's most notable Anabaptist heritage sites. Our roots here are deep and I'd love to help you discover more about your Lancaster County ancestors.
…in all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we have come from.
– Alex Haley, author of Roots
Frequently Asked Questions
How do we get started?
First, please fill out the contact form below. I will get in touch with you so that we can discuss the project you have in mind. I offer this as a free consultation with no obligation. I will ask questions to help me understand your goals and define the focus of your project. This initial conversation also allows me to determine if your project is within my areas of expertise. If not, I can refer you to another genealogist with the particular specialization you need.
If I decide to work with you, what would happen next?
I will need you to share any previous research that is relevant to your project. This might include a pedigree chart, copies of documents and sources, family histories, photographs, etc. Depending upon your location and preference, we can meet in person OR you can send me copies of the material via email, Dropbox, or U.S. mail. I will review your material and prepare a preliminary research plan. Then, I will contact you with a proposal and contract. Once I receive your signed contract and deposit, I will start work on your project.
How much is the deposit?
After we discuss your project, I can tell you if your question might only involve an hour or two of work or if it will take a significant amount of time. We will agree upon a number of hours that you authorize for me to conduct research and prepare your report or other work product. For significant projects, I recommend increments of ten or twenty hours. I ask for a deposit of 50% before I begin work with the remainder due upon completion. However, please be assured that if I complete the project in less than the authorized time frame, you will only pay for the actual time spent on your project. I will also provide an invoice for any research expenses (usually nominal fees for obtaining vital records, copies, parking, or postage).
What kinds of things might this research uncover?
Part of the thrill of family history research is that it is full of surprises. I have discovered an amazing array of stories that run the full gamut of human experience. Please keep in mind that I cannot guarantee a desired outcome. I will apply my skills and knowledge to your research goal and provide you with a complete, fully documented report that includes every source I have searched. Many times, that results in fascinating information about your ancestors, but sometimes a certain record simply does not exist. If that is the case, I will also make recommendations for further research if there are additional avenues to pursue.
Can I purchase your services as a gift for someone else?
Absolutely, yes! I believe that there is no greater gift you can give to a loved one than the discovery and preservation of family history as a legacy to share with future generations. I can create a gift certificate in a desired amount OR I can complete a project for you to give as a gift.
A four generation picture from January 1935 with my paternal grandmother, Doris (Millhouse) Hornberger as a baby. Left to right are my great grandmother, Grace (Kramer) Millhouse; 3x great grandmother, Emma (Kaufmann) Eitnier; and 2x great grandfather, Harry Eitnier Kramer. I had never even heard of Harry or Emma before beginning my research. What a treasure!
If you don’t know history, you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.
– Michael Crichton, author
GET IN TOUCH
Please provide your contact information below. Add a message about any questions you may have or potential projects you would like to discuss. I look forward to hearing from you and will be in touch soon!
Over the course of the millenia, all these ancestors in your tree, generation upon generation, have come down to this moment in time – to give birth to you. There has never been, nor will ever be, another like you. You have been given a tremendous responsibility. You carry the hopes and dreams of all those who have gone before. Hopes and dreams for a better world. What will you do with your time on this earth? How will you contribute to the ongoing story of humankind? – Laurence Overmire
The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.
– Maya Angelou